KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is considered an unhealthy country as the number of people suffering from heart disease and obesity is high, said health minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said health awareness among the people is also low.
“If you ask me if Malaysia is a healthy country, my answer is ‘no’. We are among countries that are tops in terms of obesity and heart disease, and among the leading causes of Covid-19 deaths in the country is (that) most of the patients have comorbidities or chronic diseases,” he said on TV1’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme today.
“In Malaysia, one in every two people are obese and overweight, including myself, while one in four don’t practise physical activity and only one in 20 maintain healthy eating habits.
“According to official statistics, half a million adults suffer from depression. I am confident that this is lower than the actual figure.”
Khairy said to realise the objectives of Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat (ANMS), Malaysians need to make a behavioural change voluntarily and increase awareness to create a healthy nation without having to rely on the health ministry or the government.
A change in behaviour and awareness to undergo a health check is the core of ANMS, he said.
“If we want to depend on the health ministry alone to monitor SOP compliance and issue compounds, we do not have the manpower. We want the country to succeed in terms of pandemic management,” he said, citing the example of Japan, which had successfully managed the pandemic through behavioural change without having to issue compounds.
The 10-year ANMS was launched by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today to prepare Malaysia to face and cope with the endemic phase of Covid-19.